Human Behavior

There is definitely no logic to human behavior.

Fox TV: Mission accomplished

You’ve probably heard by now about the national survey from the Pew Research Center that showed 18 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim – a substantial increase from the 11 percent who thought so in March 2009.

These poll results should be celebrated by Roger Ailes and his colleagues at Fox TV, because Fox and its affiliated talk radio hosts have been primarily responsible for moving the needle on this issue.  Since Obama took office in 2009, there has been a relentless drumbeat of “reports” on the Fox shows that advance the false claims that Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya and isn’t qualified to serve as president of the United States.

Rather than shoot down these “reports” as the bogus bull-hockey that they are, legitimate media outlets have played along with the fiction that Fox TV is a “news organization” that reports actual “news,” and treats their “reports” as if there was some credibility to them.

The Fox team can sit back and say, “Mission accomplished.”  The national media should, but won’t, hang its head in shame that it has allowed an organization that is nothing more than the public relations arm of the Republican National Committee to get away with posing as a legitimate news operation.

It has been obvious for years to any reasonable, rational person that Fox exists solely to advance the cause of the Republican Party.  There’s nothing illegal about that.  They have every right to be an advocate for whatever political organization they choose.  As the Pew survey on Obama’s “Muslim beliefs” indicates, Fox has been very successful at what it does.  Believe me, it is no small feat to persuade 18 percent of the American population to believe in the veracity of something that is so demonstrably false.

Let me repeat it, then:  Fox is a very effective public relations outfit.  They do a very good job for their political client, the Republican Party.  They can justifiably take pride in what they have accomplished. But they are not a news organization — they are PR spokesmen for the GOP. If anyone still doubts that Fox is not an adjunct of the Republican Party, those doubts can be put away with the disclosure this week that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. contributed $1 million to Sonny Perdue’s favorite group, the Republican Governors Association.

There’s no need to even debate the question of whether Fox is a “fair and balanced” news organization, because it is not a legitimate news organization under any reasonable definition of the term.  To call Fox a “news organization” is like calling Ted Bundy a “population control expert.”

The few remaining legitimate news outlets in this country should be calling attention to the fact that Fox is a leading financier and spokesman for Republican causes.  The fact that they aren’t is eloquent testimony to how degraded and corrupt the practice of journalism has become.

What does this mean for Georgia politics?  Quite a lot, actually.  As I mentioned above, Rupert Murdoch is a major source of money for the Republican Governors Association.  The RGA has already started running attack ads that attempt to influence the outcome of the governor’s race in Georgia.  The organization, which is directed by Perdue underling Nick Ayers, can obviously count on Rupert Murdoch’s vast financial resources to keep flooding the airwaves with these attack ads all the way up to Nov. 2.

It will be a good thing for Georgia voters if the upcoming campaign for governor features a full discussion of the issues by the candidates from both parties.  I’m not sure how good it will be to have a governor’s race decided by the financial resources of a right-wing Australian billionaire.

Tags: Fox TV , Republican Governors Association , republican party , Rupert Murdoch

One Comment

  1. Posted August 21, 2010 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Amen, brother, amen. The sad part is that not only do so few people recognize the difference in real journalism, that makes the separation of fact and opinion clear, far too many don’t seem to care. This is not good for America.

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